Have a Sweet Holiday
Do you know someone who loves to bake but with no real spare time to do it? Or maybe you know someone who is just getting into baking and is in need of a cookbook that won’t stress them out when they’re ready to make their first dessert? Then give The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn a try.
This book is chock full of over 150 wonderful desserts for any type of occasion and the best part is, they are made from cake mix, but by using a multitude of easy to-find ingredients, you can “doctor” the batter up (hence the title) to make them taste like you baked them from scratch. Now, while the cakes come from a mix, Byrn, a former award-winning food magazine writer with over twenty years’ experience, uses homemade frosting and the recipes for those are also in the book as well. Most of the frostings are very simple to make and believe me; they taste heavenly and compliment the cakes perfectly.
The book is grouped by cake type. One section is devoted to chocolate, another is strictly for holidays, while a third is for cakes made with fruit (my favorite section). There’s even a section of breakfast treats, like coffee cake and muffins. Now, there is a section devoted to “lighter cakes” that call for substitutions like applesauce which cut down on fat and calories, but it’s not offensive and there’s no fat-shaming going on.
The book has a color picture of each finished product and tells you what page it’s on, which is extremely helpful when you want to go back to a particular recipe. For math duds like me, Byrn also has a handy chart about how much frosting to make when you need to change servings and baking times according to pan size. There’s also a “Cake Mix 101” area with a wealth of information about cake types, what pans to use, essential ingredients you should have, how to frost cakes, testing cakes to make sure they’re done and a recipe for pan grease so your cakes will never stick.
Anne Byrn’s attitude and writing style is down-to-earth and a breeze to read. She enjoys each dessert because she’s made and tasted just about all of them. She doesn’t talk down to readers, she isn’t condescending and she is a stickler about using real butter and whole milk when the recipe calls for it. She’s all about taste and savoring each bite. She also includes some interesting cake history and facts along with the recipes.
Anyone who likes to bake, regardless of age, experience or size will enjoy The Cake Mix Doctor. I’ve had this book for almost ten years now and it is my go-to when I want to bake a cake. If you’re interested in purchasing it, or any of Anne Byrn’s other cookbooks, you can go to Anne Byrn’s Amazon page.
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